Getting to Know Kristen
By Kathryn Knight Randolph
January 27, 2012
Kristen has been contributing to Fastweb since August 2011 and has garnered a lot of attention from our readers for her personal and prolific pieces, like Accepting Rejection (or a Deferral or Waitlisting). So we thought it would be nice to introduce you all to even more of Kristen!
What are you studying in school and what are the biggest challenges you face in this field?
The technical answer to what I’m studying is that I am double-majoring in English and History, which prompts a lot of people to wonder aloud if I am on a pre-law track; while I have nothing against lawyers, that is not what I intend to be. I really just want to write and share stories with the world, although I’m not sure yet in what format (short stories or novels) or even genre (young adult? historical fiction?).
The biggest challenge is the uncertainty of how that field will grow with technology and the times, but I’m routinely comforted by the certainty that writing is my thing – what I love and admire and need – and that won’t ever change.
How do you hope to implement writing into the rest of your life?
I would really like for writing to make my life. I’d like to lie in bed at night dreaming up new storylines and store away interesting overheard conversations for later use and talk to others about what they feel when they read my words. I also know that verbal and written communications are essential to every business, so I’m prepared to implement writing in any capacity and at every opportunity to make a living as well.
So far, what is the thing that has surprised you most about college?
The overwhelming and sometimes overabundant freedom has definitely been the most surprising part of college for me. There are so many hours in a day I almost don’t know what to do with them, which is something just about any college student will tell you if they’re being honest.
That’s why so many students can nap for hours every afternoon or party ‘til early in the morning or join a bunch of different organizations. Our time is finally ours to do what we want with it, and that’s an empowering realization.
Looking back, what is the best advice you received as a student? And what advice do you have for high school as well as college students?
It sounds cliché, but the best advice I’ve gotten is to step out of your comfort zone. You never know what philanthropic cause you might dedicate your life to after attending just one fundraising event, and you never know if the stranger you speak with on the street one day is going to turn out to be your best friend.
My English professor this semester, on the very first day of class, told us that he can totally empathize with people who are shy, but if you never challenge that side of yourself, you’ll never grow. I’ve come to realize that college is not about trying everything or becoming a whole new person. College is about growing into your full potential.
That would be my advice to both high school and college students: Never underestimate an opportunity, and never underestimate a person (including yourself).
Finally, what do you do for fun outside of the classroom?
Outside of the classroom, I love playing soccer on the quad and trying new restaurants downtown. With the help of some new friends, I started up quizbowl at UGA again, so twice a week you can catch me playing trivia and laughing with them.
I’ve made myself start reading regularly again (with the goal of ninety-nine books this year), and I’m a member of First Book UGA, which fundraises to buy books for underprivileged children in Athens-Clarke County. When I go home, I like to nap with my puppy, watch Merlin with my sister, and play Just Dance on the Wii with my parents cheering me on. I’m also guilty of a lot of whatever you would call the online equivalent of window shopping. And writing, naturally.